Updated: Feb 10, 2022
Research has proved that people predominantly fall into 4 types of attachment style. Attachment style is the way we form relationships with others, especially the Romantic ones. We develop these kind of attachment styles due to our past experiences with our loved ones especially with our parents during childhood. If we divide, the x and y axis into how we see ourselves and others respectively, we will end up with the following 4 types of attachment styles:
Let's explore in depth, each of these styles with the help of this graphic.
Secure Attachment Style
People with secure attachment strategies are comfortable displaying interest and affection. They are also comfortable being alone and independent, and display a healthy level of self-confidence. They’re able to correctly prioritize their relationships within their life and tend to draw clear boundaries and stick to them.
Secure attachment types obviously make the best romantic partners, family members, and even friends. They’re capable of accepting rejection and moving on despite the pain, but are also capable of being loyal and sacrificing when necessary. They have little issue trusting people they’re close to and are trustworthy themselves.
Secure types comfortably form intimate relationships not only with partners, but also with friends. They have no trouble revealing themselves to and occasionally relying on others when the situation calls for it. And they are excellent caregivers.
Anxious Attachment Style
Anxious attachment types are often nervous and stressed about their relationships. They need constant reassurance and affection from their partner. They have trouble being alone or single. They’ll often succumb to unhealthy or abusive relationships.
Anxious types have trouble trusting people, even if they’re close to them, yet excessively rely on others for their emotional needs and to resolve their problems. Their behavior can be irrational, sporadic, and overly-emotional. They’re the ones complaining that everyone of the opposite sex are cold and heartless. And probably bursting into tears while doing so.
Avoidant Attachment Style
Avoidant attachment types are extremely independent, self-directed, and often uncomfortable with intimacy. They’re commitment-phobes and experts at rationalizing their way out of any intimate situation. They regularly complain about feeling “crowded” or “suffocated” when people try to get close to them. They are often paranoid that others want to control them or box them in.
In every relationship, they always have an exit strategy. Always. Avoidants often construct their lifestyle in such a way to avoid commitment or too much intimate contact.
In surveys, avoidant types score uniquely high on self-confidence and uniquely low on emotional expressiveness and warmth. They not only reveal themselves far less to their partner and friends, but also tend not to rely on others, even when they should. They score lower than other types as caregivers, meaning they’re not to be relied upon when in a pickle.
Anxious Avoidant Attachment Style
Anxious-avoidant attachment types (also known as the “fearful or disorganized type”) bring together the worst of both worlds. Anxious-avoidants are not only afraid of intimacy and commitment, but they distrust and lash out emotionally at anyone who tries to get close to them. Anxious-avoidants often spend much of their time alone and miserable, or in abusive or dysfunctional relationships.
Anxious-avoidants are low in confidence and less likely to express emotions, preferring to suppress them. However, they can have intense emotional outbursts when under stress. They also don’t tend to seek help when in need due to a distrust of others. This sucks because they are also incapable of sorting through their own issues.
Anxious-avoidants really get the worst of both worlds. They avoid intimacy not because they prefer to be alone like avoidants. Rather, they avoid intimacy because they are so terrified of its potential to hurt them.
According to studies, only a small percentage of the population qualifies as anxious-avoidant types, and they typically have a multitude of other emotional problems in other areas of their life (i.e., substance abuse, depression, etc.
Having said all of these, no one falls purely into one zone, you have a scalar result when you go through the personality quiz. You have one predominant trait than others. Hence it's also important to understand why we form such attachment styles.
HOW ATTACHMENT STYLES ARE FORMED
Like I said previously, our attachment styles as adults are influenced by how we related to our parents (or one parent/primary caregiver) as young children. As helpless little babies, this is our first and most important relationship of our lives, so it naturally sets the “blueprint” for how we perceive all relationships as we mature.
We use this relationship blueprint as we age into late childhood and adolescence, when we typically start to form important relationships outside of our immediate relationship with our parent(s). Our peer group takes on a larger role in our lives as we continue to learn how to relate to others. These experiences further influence our attachment style as we eventually become romantically involved with others, which, in turn, also influence our attachment style.
So while your early experiences with your parent(s) do have a considerable influence on how you relate to others, it’s not the only factor that determines your attachment style (though it’s a big one) and your attachment style can change over time (more on this later).
Generally, though, secure attachment types regularly have their needs met as infants. They grew up feeling competent among their peers, but were also comfortable with their shortcomings to a degree. As a result, they exhibit healthy, strong boundaries as adults, can communicate their needs well in their relationships, and aren’t afraid to leave a bad one if they think they need to.
Anxious types, on the other hand, receive love and care with unpredictable sufficiency as infants. Growing up, they have positive views of their peers, but negative views of themselves. Their romantic relationships are often overly idealized and they rely too heavily on them for self-esteem. Hence the 36 calls in one night when you don’t pick up your phone.
Avoidants like Alex would have got only some of their needs met as infants, while the rest were neglected (for instance, Alex might have gotten fed regularly, but wasn’t held enough). So Alex grows up holding a negative view of others but a positive view of himself. He hasn’t depended too much on his romantic relationships for his needs and feels like he doesn’t need others for emotional support.
Anxious-avoidant Aaron, though, would have had an abusive or terribly negligent childhood. He grew up having a hard time relating to his peers. So as an adult, he seeks both intimacy and independence in romantic interactions, sometimes simultaneously, which, as you can imagine, doesn’t really go well.
All this in-depth information has been taken from the following blog
Read it to know more about it. It's quite detailed and useful.
To summarise, we form relationships subconsciously due to our attachment styles and if they are not serving you or are dysfunctional, then we need to look at our own attachment style objectively to know where we stand and what steps we can take to move towards a secure style.
What are your thoughts regarding these. Comment below and share your thoughts.